the republic logo

Holtby stops 32 shots, Backstrom sets franchise record in Washington's 2-0 win over Boston

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

WASHINGTON — Braden Holtby made 32 saves for his eighth shutout of the season, Nicklas Backstrom became Washington's career assists leader, and the Capitals cooled the surging Boston Bruins with a 2-0 victory Sunday night.

Holtby rebounded from being pulled during the second period of Friday night's loss after allowing four goals on 22 shots.

Washington, which had lost three of four on its five-game homestand, moved two points ahead of Boston for the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Backstrom assisted on goals by John Carlson and Nate Schmidt, moving past Michal Pivonka and Alex Ovechkin (418 each) on the Capitals's assists list with 420.

The Bruins had won five straight, and were 7-0-1 in their last eight. Tuukka Rask, playing his second game in as many nights, stopped 36 shots.

PHOTO: Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (44), from Germany, Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) and goalie Tuukka Rask (40), from Finland reach for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (44), from Germany, Washington Capitals right wing Joel Ward (42) and goalie Tuukka Rask (40), from Finland reach for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington scored on its only power play opportunity, then killed off all four Boston chances.

After mustering just 20 shots in their loss to Dallas on Friday night, the Capitals outshot the Bruins 10-1 over the first 4:15 — but nothing got past Rask.

Then at 12:27, Brad Marchand went off for roughing and it took Washington just 16 seconds to convert. Backstrom fed Carlson, and Carlson one-timed a shot past Rask from center-point for his 11th of the season.

Backstrom leads the league with 53 assists, including seven in his last seven games.

Boston stepped up the pressure on Holtby in the second, but he was equal to it, stopping 14 shots, including a point-blank slapper from Torey Krug.

Two fortuitous deflections aided Washington's second goal. Tom Wilson's shot was blocked right to Schmidt, whose blast from the point deflected in off Boston's Gregory Campbell. It was Schmidt's first goal of the season.

NOTES: It was the sixth time this season Rask has started both games of a back-to-back. He's 5-0-1 in first games, but 0-4-2 in second games. ... Boston had scored first in 11 straight contests. ... Pivonka played for Washington from 1986-99. ... With backup G Justin Peters (lower body injury) day-to-day, the Capitals recalled G Philipp Grubauer from Hershey of the AHL, along with RW Chris Conner. C Andre Burakovsky was re-assigned to Hershey. ... Washington was without C Michael Latta and RW Jay Beagle — both upper body — and D Brooks Orpik (lower body).

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), from Sweden, defenseman John Carlson (74) and left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russia, celebrate Carlson's goal in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Washington. Backstrom was given an assist on the goal and with that became the Capitals franchise all time assist leader. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Click to view (7 Photos)

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.